Lot #3640
Russian Proton-M Rocket Model

This lot has closed

Estimate: $1000+


Finely made high-detail model of the Proton-M expendable Russian heavy-lift launch vehicle, made exclusively for Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, the manufacturer of the rocket. The four-stage painted metal rocket, 1:40 scale, stands 35.5″ in height, and is set upon a circular metal base with “Proton M” plaque. In fine condition.

Proton was derived from Vladimir Chelomei’s Universal Rocket 500 (UR-500), a massive intercontinental ballistic missile designed to carry the Soviet Union’s heaviest nuclear warheads like the Tsar Bomba. While the two-stage UR-500 never flew as a missile, four were launched between 1965 and 1966 with N-4 scientific satellites—named Proton once in orbit. The rocket was named after these payloads.

The Proton-M is a modernized version of the Proton-K which first flew in April 2001. Also incorporating upgraded engines, Proton-M increased the rocket’s payload capacity. It is typically paired with a Briz-M upper stage, which had been tested on two Proton-K launches prior to the Proton-M’s debut, and two more in 2003.

The vast majority of Proton-M rockets since then have carried commercial communications satellites on launches conducted by International Launch Services, however, two launches have been made with Raduga-1M military communications satellites, and three flights have deployed Ekspress satellites, which are not considered commercial payloads.

Proton-M rockets have experienced three launch failures; two outright and one partial. One of the outright failures, the launch of JCSAT-11 in September 2007, was caused by the failure of the first stage to separate from the second. The other two failures were due to problems with the Briz-M. The Proton-M is expected to remain in operation until at least 2025.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Space
  • Dates: #607 - Ended April 22, 2021